When it comes to learning to trust a partner and helping them learn to trust you, it's important to ask hard questions. However, it’s also important to ask them at appropriate times.
While it may be difficult to bring yourself to talk about certain things and you may hesitate to bring up topics that might be “off limits” in normal conversation, asking and answering these questions will give you a foundation of truth upon which you can build your loving relationship.
Ask the Questions
Sometimes, hard questions are simply the things you want to know about your partner but are afraid to ask. This can include questions about their past, including past relationships and family dynamics, and questions about their future, maybe focusing on their goals and aspirations.
The thing that can make these questions hard is the actual fact of asking them. When you're used to a casual relationship with someone, questions like these automatically begin to take it to the next level. If your casual relationship is comfortable, it can be hard to make any move that might disturb that.
In addition, if you ask these sorts of questions, you might find out things about your partner that are hard. Maybe she's not completely over an ex-boyfriend, or his mother still causes problems in his life. While you'll have to work through difficult issues with any long-term partner, facing them can be difficult. Because asking hard questions means you'll have to face these things, you might not be motivated to step up and do it.
You aren't the only one in the relationship who needs to ask hard questions in order to build trust and develop a commitment. Your partner has a need to do so as well, and you should try to be open to the things he or she wants to know about you.
It can be even harder to answer questions than it is to ask them. If there are aspects of your life that you know will be hard for your significant other or that you think it might be hard for them to accept, answering questions that touch on those subjects can cause fear and pain.
There may also be moments in your past that are so painful you almost never talk about them. The thought of discussing them with anyone, let alone revealing them to someone whose good opinion you desire, can bring back the original pain in a forceful way. If your partner truly cares about you, revealing these things can cause them pain, as well.
In the end, though, you must talk about these things if you're going to build real trust with your partner. If they are willing to work through difficult issues and stand by you even when you're hurting, you will be more likely to want to commit to loving them. The same is true for your partner.
In the end, the conversations generated by asking hard questions can be some of the most valuable parts of your relationship. They can look scary and difficult before you have them, but afterward will be some of the basic building blocks of trust in your relationship.
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